Instagram launches Reels, its new video-music service to fight off TikTok

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New Delhi | November 13, 2019 5:01 PM

Instagram's Reels is a TikTok-like service that is currently available in Brazil

Instagram’s Reels allows users to create 15-second video clips. (Source: TechCrunch)

TikTok’s growing popularity has got Silicon Valley concerned, so much so that major tech companies have tried to emulate the video-music smash feature. After Facebook’s Lasso, Instagram has now come up with a brand-new feature called Reels that lets users create video clips with music swap, besides lip-sync. Instagram Reels is currently available only in Brazil where it is called Cenas, but it is likely to be rolled out to other markets in the coming days to counter TikTok globally.

Much like TikTok, a user’s popularity on Reels is based on how many times a video has been watched. Users can create a 15-second long video clip and soundtrack it with music available from a huge catalogue, or voice from other videos. Since Reels is integrated right within Instagram Stories, it is more accessible than downloading a standalone app, which is not the case with Facebook’s Lasso.

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Facebook initially tried its hands at the format popularised by TikTok by introducing a standalone app called Lasso a few weeks back. But Lasso is apparently experiencing teething problems over and above a stiff competition from TikTok. At least for Reels, the app is harmonious with Instagram, providing around one billion users an experience similar to that of TikTok.

Reels sits next to Boomerang and Superzoom inside the camera for Instagram Stories. The videos created via Reels can be posted as Instagram Stories. The privacy of these videos can also be set to public or ‘close friends.’ It is not available to users outside Brazil as of now, reports TechCrunch.

TikTok grew indefinitely in many markets, including India, thanks to its video-music remix format that lets users create videos and slap music or voice note on to it. Much like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, several celebrities and brands have their verified pages on TikTok to reach out to a wider user base.

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